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Vancouver housing slows to a crawl Add to ...

The spring housing market has slowed to a crawl in Vancouver, with April seeing the fewest monthly sales in more than a decade and the number of unsold houses piling up.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Wednesday there were 2,799 sales in the region in April, down 13.2 per cent from a year ago and 2.6 per cent lower than a weaker-than-usual March. The spring market is key for buyers and sellers, as families try and arrange summer moves.

It was the lowest for April sales since 2001, and 16.9 per cent below the 10-year average.

Market watchers have expressed concern that the city may be experiencing a bubble, as cheap credit helps push prices higher and families deeper into debt. While the concern is for markets across the country, there is particular worry about Vancouver and Toronto.

Despite the weak sales, prices continue to edge higher in the city. The index the board uses to track prices showed them up 3.7 per cent from a year ago, to $683,800.

The number of new listings increased 3.6 per cent from March. The number of houses for sale is 6.7 per cent above the region’s 10-year average, as sellers look to cash out at what may be the top of the market. There are 16,538 houses for sale in the region, the board said, up 16 per cent from a year ago.

Toronto reports its numbers Thursday, and the Canadian Real Estate Association reports national figures on the 15th of each month.

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